Trailblazing Roswell girls among the nation’s first Female Eagle Scouts

New Eagle Scouts Zoe Rosenberg (left) and Veronica Roark at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
New Eagle Scouts Zoe Rosenberg (left) and Veronica Roark at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Achieving an Eagle Scout rank with Boy Scouts of America is a mark of excellence that has always been distinctively male – until now.

Girls are breaking through that barrier, including two from Roswell who have made it into the nation’s Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts.

Zoe Rosenberg and Veronica Roark, both seniors at Roswell High School and good friends since middle school, helped start an all-girls troop two years ago when the National Boy Scouts of America began to allow girls to have their own troops.

Since that first Scouts BSA Troop 432 meeting on Feb. 1, 2019, they’ve both worked steadily -- earning badge after badge while serving in leadership roles to achieve the top rank in less than two years.

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Zoe Rosenberg (left) & Veronica Roark explain what merit badges they earned to become Eagles Scouts at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Zoe Rosenberg (left) & Veronica Roark explain what merit badges they earned to become Eagles Scouts at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

“It’s really crazy. I never thought I’d get here, honestly,” said Zoe, 17, who refurbished an outdoor prayer walk at Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell for her Eagle Scout Service Project.

“My brother’s an Eagle Scout, and, when he got Eagle, I didn’t even think I’d ever get to do that one day because I didn’t have the option,” she said.

Both girls had been part of the Boy Scouts of America co-ed Venturing program, which gave them the high-adventure outings that scouts are known for but not a path to earn the organization’s highest rank.

“For me, the biggest part of getting Eagle is being a trailblazer so that other girls in the troop and girls in other troops around us can look back at our work and our project and see how we did it, and they can do it do, too,” Zoe said.

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There are 36 female Scouts BSA Troops in the Atlanta area, and, among these, three girls have earned their Eagle Scout rank. One more is close to completing, said Amanda Walker, the council’s senior marketing and communications manager.

Like her friend Zoe, Veronica also had a legacy to follow in earning the rank – both her older brother and her father are Eagle Scouts.

“I heard about this troop getting formed and thought it would be really cool to join and try to get my Eagle Scout award,” she said.

Veronica said she likes the camping and high-adventure outings in scouts. In 2018, while a member of a Venturing Crew, she and her parents attended a week-long Sea Base scouting program in the Florida Keys.

Veronica Roark (left) & Zoe Rosenberg tend to a fire outside the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Veronica Roark (left) & Zoe Rosenberg tend to a fire outside the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Jenny Roark said she had hoped her daughter would choose to pursue her Eagle rank, but never pushed her, knowing the amount of work it would take in such a short amount of time.

Scouts must complete requirements for 21 badges, including the Eagle service project, before their 18th birthday, and Veronica was almost 16 when she started. For her project, she built and installed Barn Owl houses for the Alpharetta Farm and donated a dozen more to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for installation around the state.

“We’re very proud of her,” Roark said.

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Veronica said scouts helped her develop life skills in leadership, and she has enjoyed friendships with girls from other schools. She wrote about her Eagle journey when applying for colleges and has been accepted into Virginia Tech.

“Even if you don’t make it to Eagle, it’s worth it to be a part of the troop because of all the fun things you get to do. I’ve never camped more in my life than I have in the past two years,” Veronica said.

Veronica Roark moves her & Zoe RosenbergÕs name tag to Eagle Scout ranking at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Veronica Roark moves her & Zoe RosenbergÕs name tag to Eagle Scout ranking at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Both girls are also Girl Scouts, and Zoe is working toward the highest rank there, the Gold Star Award. As a leader in the BSA troop, she enjoys working with younger girls and showing them what it means to be a scout.

“I want to make it a positive experience for everyone. There’s so much to do in scouting, other than camping, so I want to make sure everyone has a good time with the troop and gets something out of it,” said Zoe, who plans to study international relations in college.

Her father, Tony Rosenberg, said he was proud of both girls because of the amount of work they accomplished in such a short time. When boys come to scouting, they’re typically 11 years old, and they can take up to seven years to earn Eagle, he said.

“Their dedication, their effort, and their hard work – to see that pay off is just great,” Rosenberg said. “I’m proud of both of them.”

WHAT’S INSPIRING ABOUT ALL-FEMALE BSA TROOPS

Zoe Rosenberg and Veronica Roark were among the initial six girls who started Scouts BSA Troop 432, chartered by Roswell United Methodist Church. It was the first all-girls troop in the Northern Ridge District. Open to girls ages 11-17, the troop meets at the church on Thursdays. There are now 29 members.

National Boy Scouts of America has extended consideration for the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts to February 2022.

To Learn more: www.atlantabsa.org

Veronica Roark (left) & Zoe Rosenberg salute during opening ceremonies at their troop meeting at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Veronica Roark (left) & Zoe Rosenberg salute during opening ceremonies at their troop meeting at the Roswell United Methodist Church scout hut in Roswell. The two are part of the all-girls Scout Troop 432, that meets at the church on Thursday nights. They are the first girls in the Northern Ridge Scout District to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and are among the nation's Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

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